'Arrest BJD leader in dowry case'

The Odisha government and the state police have come under tremendous pressure to arrest senior ruling Biju Janata Dal(BJD) leader Raghunath Mohanty and some of his family members against whom cases of dowry torture and harassment have been registered in Balasore district.

Mohanty who hails from the north Odisha district had resigned from the state Cabinet on Friday over the issue.

Barsa Soni Choudhury, the former minister’s daughter-in-law on whose complaint the police have registered criminal cases, reiterated on Saturday that the senior leader and his other family members including her husband Raja Mohanty should be taken into custody immediately.

Women’s wing of the opposition political parties like the Congress and the BJP have also demanded the same while holding demonstrations at several places in the state.

The former minister’s son, Raja, in the meantime, has moved the high court seeking anticipatory bail.

Describing the dowry torture allegation made by his wife “baseless”, he has stated in his petition that the entire episode was a political conspiracy hatched against him as he was expecting to get a ticket to fight the coming assembly elections.

The human rights protection cell (HRPC) of the state police, which has been assigned to investigate the sensitive case, began its probe on Saturday recording the statements of the former minister’s daughter-in-law and her family members based in Balasore town.
“The family fully cooperated with us,” the leader of the HRPC team Subal Kar, a deputy superintendent of police(DSP) rank officer, said.

The issue rocked the Assembly for the second consecutive day on Saturday with the opposition members creating pandemonium as soon as the House sat for the day accusing the government of trying to protect the ex-minister and hush up the case.  
The disturbances forced Speaker Pradip Amat to adjourn the house till afternoon. As the situation did not improve in the afternoon session, the Speaker adjourned the house proceedings till Monday.

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